When I decided to start a food blog and was thinking of recipes to include, this was the first recipe that came to my mind. Gulab jamun; this is perhaps the best of the sweets that my grandmother makes. I have very fond memories of helping my grandmother roll the gulab jamuns. As an 8-9 year old, I used to feel so proud to have contributed to a recipe.
Though I am not a fan of oily and fried food, this is an exception. I do not prefer gulab jamun made in oil. It has to be made in ghee (clarified butter). I think that is what gives it the yummy taste and aroma. Fresher the ingredients, better the taste. There are various versions of this sweet too. You can stuff it with mishri, chironji, or any other dry fruit of your choice. Though I do not try to modify such time tested recipes, this time I tried using chocolate chips as a stuffing and was happy with the result.
Gulab Jamun can be enjoyed warm and cold both. It particularly goes well with Vanilla Ice-cream. Warm Gulab Jamun with a dollop of Vanilla Ice-cream tastes delicious. What else, it is indeed a quick dessert.
Makes 10 Gulab Jamuns
- ½ cup dried whole milk (khoya/mawa)
- 1 tbsp Indian cottage cheese (paneer)
- 1 tbsp multipurpose flour (maida)
- 2 pinches soda
- 3-4 pinches cardamom powder (ilaichi)
- Few chocolate chips
- 8-10 strands of saffron (kesar)
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- Pure ghee to fry the gulab jamuns
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Chopped almonds for topping
Crumble or grate mawa and paneer. Add maida, soda, and cardamom powder. Mash all the ingredients using the heel of your palm and keep mixing till you get an even mixture. If you find the mixture too dry, you can add 1 tablespoon water at a time till you get a soft dough. Divide the dough into 10 portions and roll into balls. You can add the stuffing at this time. Press the ball to make a hole, add the stuffing, seal the ends and roll into a ball again making sure there are no cracks.
Heat sufficient ghee in a thick bottomed deep pan/kadai. Fry on sim gas till golden brown. Do not over crowd the pan. Once you put the gulab jamuns in hot ghee, do not put spoon in the pan till the balls come up in ghee or they will break. Fry gently and drain and keep aside.
In another pot, heat sugar and water till the syrup becomes light golden. Add saffron strands. Do not over boil the sugar syrup. It should be boiled enough to be sticky. Switch off the gas as soon as the syrup startsbto boil and let it cool a little. Add the gulab jamuns to the syrup when it is warm. Let the gulab jamuns soak in the syrup for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can garnish them with chopped almonds or pistachios.